Thimphu, Mar 21 : Preparations for the first general elections in Bhutan are on in full swing. Voting machines have been checked and sealed and loaded onto mules.
With most voters living in the rural areas, which are inaccessible by vehicles, logistics are one of the largest obstacles for the democratic exercise.
"Of course, they have to walk five to six days from the road end to the polling station. So, that's why we're sending the polling team to the road end now," Chimi Dorji, the returning officer for Thimphu District, told a foreign news agency.
Approximately 318,000 people are registered to vote out of a population of 646,851, with many of them living in rural areas.
The former King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, started Bhutan's road towards a democratic constitutional monarchy in December 2006 when he abdicated the throne in favour of his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who has continued on the same democratic path.
Only two parties are beingallowed to contest the March 24 polls, and both of them are close to the royal family.
The National Council Elections were held in December and January 2008, and were followed by the election of the upper house of the Council.